Masks, confetti, floats, dancers, stilts: Carnival is coming, one of the celebrations our children love the most. Did you know that its origin is thousands of years old? It can be traced back to Ancient Rome, when entire days of festivity were organized in honor of God Saturn with all sorts of entertainment, food, and overall excesses. Everything was permitted and the slaves could even act as kings!
This is why today the say “during Carnival anything goes” is still true. It’s not just a figure of speech, it’s a mood that affects adults and children in Italy and around the world. You don’t believe it? Follow us in our discovery tour of the most Original Carnival festivals around the Planet!
It is the most ancient Carnival, known in Galicia as the Entroido. Protagonists are the peliqueiros: very elegant and charming in their impeccable white and red outfit, with masks, pom-poms, foulards, corsets and garter belts. Watch out though, don’t be fooled: under the papal headdress, the soul of little a devil is hiding! Their arrival is announced by the bells hanging from their belt, and they unleash pure chaos: the peliqueiros run and jump furiously around the streets and they lash their feared whips. Beware of being in their way: they might unleash their revenge by throwing ashes and mean tricks!
And the Gilles of Binche
Long moustache, green eyeglasses and bunches of wood under their arm to ward off the evil spirits. These are the Gilles of Binche: bizarre masked men who run around the small Belgium city with a single purpose: creating chaos. They shake their sticks and throw apples at the crowd, they dance at the rhythm of drums and brass and ask passers-by to offer them drinks. An explosion of sounds and colors, in the purest Walloon tradition: one of the world’s most famous Carnivals, proclaimed by Unesco Heritage of Humanity.
The battle of flowers in Nice
Mimosa, lilies, and daisies: 100,000 flowers rain down in Nice during the spectacular battle re-enactment every year on the Promenade des Anglais. A homage to the flower production of the Côte d'Azur that dates back to the 1800s: a romantic and grandiose appointment to welcome in the most colourful way the arrival of the awaited spring.
And that of the oranges in Ivrea
A different kind of battle is the historic battle of the oranges in Ivrea. It is a fight between factions representing the people’s revolt (the aranceri, orange handlers on foot) against the army of the tyrant (the orange handlers on carts). A challenge for brave hearts and with rather impressive figures: 100 thousand participants every year and half a million kilos of oranges! A liberating event whose final victory is declared by a judge, and that leaves on the streets of the city a picturesque orange carpet worthy of Instagram!
The murgas of Tenerife
A single rule: there are no rules. After Rio’s Carnival, there is certainly that of Santa Cruz in Tenerife. And they twin cities, not by chance. Colourful parades, transgression, fireworks and a lot of music at every corner and at every hour. Thanks to the murgas, a form of street theatre that brings together more than 100 groups of musicians, dancers, actors and people who participate. A show within the show, ahead of the big bonfire of Mardi Gras that ends the dances.
Calypso in Trinidad & Tobago
Donkeys, demons and bandits: In colonial times, this was the only period in which making fun of the powerful and not being censured was allowed. And to this day there are no limits: frenetic dancing and endless parades until dawn, in the streets and on the beach. A triumph of multicult, with strong influence from Europe and South America. But many local traditions remain: among those, the musical competitions, and everyone is excited about the proclamation of the Calypso Monarch, the musical style symbol of the Caribbean.
We at Original Marines love Carnival a lot, for a number of reasons: unleashes children’s desire to be free, their creativity. And it is a true hymn to joy, just as it is our Spring Summer 2020 new collection, with big colours, bold texture and surprising shapes. Like Carnival and life itself, an Original collection in all its parts. Discover it at originalmarines.com.